Olivia Kuhner

Olivia Kuhner, Reynolds High School basketball

Olivia Kuhner is brutally honest when describing her offensive game on the Reynolds girls basketball team. “Anybody will tell you I’m not that great of a shooter,” said, Kuhner, a sophomore for the Demons. “When it happens, I miss often.”

Her specialty at point guard is passing the ball. And playing defense comes naturally. “I play point guard so I pass the ball around to those who can score,” Kuhner said. “I love playing defense.”

Kuhner’s love for defense comes from playing on the Reynolds soccer team and the Fusion 04 club team. “Playing defense on soccer is not too terribly different from playing defense in basketball,’ she explained. “Seeing the entire court in basketball is like seeing the entire field in soccer.”

She said there are other similarities in playing both sorts. “The quickness of soccer and the footwork are a lot like basketball,” Kuhner said. “You have to be in shape because there’s a lot of sprint and recovery in both. Soccer is just longer sprints and recovery.”

If you do see Kuhner shoot the basketball it will always be inside the 3-point line, and there’s a good chance she’ll score. “I had a dislocated shoulder, so I never shoot outside the 3-point line,” she said. “I’m very cautious when I shoot.

“If I don’t think I have a clear, open shot and there’s a 100% chance of it going in I won’t shoot. I’ll take any shot inside the free throw line if I think there’s a pretty good chance of it going in.”

Although soccer is her favorite sport, Kuhner’s love for basketball began when she was in middle school. She has played soccer since she was 4 but her mom, who played basketball growing up, wanted her to play another sport. “I played at Wiley Middle School, on a YMCA team and the Winston-Salem Stealers (AAU team),” she said. “I loved both coaches with the (YMCA). I loved being on the team with the girls.”

Kuhner hopes to be chosen as a team captain this season. “We normally vote on captains, but we haven’t done that yet this year,” she said. “We’ve been rotating through the entire lineup and choosing two people each game.”

Her leadership style could be described as low key. “I hustle and will give everything I have on the court,” she said. “I don’t like to ever yell at people. When a teammate is down on themselves, I will try to bring them up. I’m a friend to everybody.”

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Ken Winfrey

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